The name of my consulting business is Ben Franklin Labs. The thing I like about Ben Franklin is that although his genius extended all the way from hard science to diplomacy. It’s my aim to emulate Ben Franklin in the sense of having a well-rounded education and skillset. I don’t want to serve clients as just a programmer but as an equal partner helping them achieve their larger business goals.
I started programming professionally at the age of 16 in the year 2000. Since that time I’ve worked for a lot of different employers and clients, and I’ve also hired a number of people to work for me. I’ve also started a number of my own (failed) product businesses. These experiences have taught me what tends to work and not work in software projects and in business in general. Most importantly, these experiences have taught me how to view the world through the same lens my clients do, so I can anticipate and empathize with their needs.
Among the most important lessons I’ve learned are that clients value clear and frequent communication, proactive behavior, and dependability. I’ve heard clients say that they’d rather hire a dependable person who’s just a mediocre person rather than a “rockstar ninja” programmer who’s a flake. I like to think I’m a strong programmer at the technical level but I also go out of my way to be a super clear communicator.
I feel like I have too much to offer the world to spend my career working for just a few employers for years at a time each. I would rather help a relatively large number of clients. Plus, by working with a variety of clients, I can gain that much more perspective, meaning that as I go, I can help each client that much more.
Right now I’m working as a Senior Software Engineer (that’s my title) for a local software agency. I committed to a year with them. I’m done with that in August 2016, after which point I plan to go freelance again like I was before I started. Before August I’d like to spin up some side work to get some momentum going before I go out on my own again.
My hope is that the feeling is mutual and that Toptal would like to work with me as well so I can help Toptal’s clients benefit from my experience and skills just like the clients I’ve served in the past have. In addition to doing programming work, I’m also interested in potentially writing for the Web Programmers Community.